The story of Ines Sainz, the TV Azteca reporter who may have been mistreated at a Jets practice, has now drawn the attention of an NFL player who never hesitates to weigh in on controversial topics: Redskins running back Clinton Portis.
And although Portis didn’t seem to know much about the situation with Sainz and the Jets, he says there’s a larger issue than that. According to Portis, the big issue is having women in an NFL locker room at all.
“You know man, I think you put women reporters in the locker room in positions to see guys walking around naked, and you sit in the locker room with 53 guys, and all of the sudden you see a nice woman in the locker room, I think men are gonna tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman,” Portis said in a radio interview today, per Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “For the woman, I think they make it so much that you can’t interact and you can’t be involved with athletes, you can’t talk to these guys, you can’t interact with these guys.”
Portis said he thinks a female reporter who has the access to see male football players naked is bound to get turned on.
“And I mean, you put a woman and you give her a choice of 53 athletes, somebody got to be appealing to her,” Portis said. “You know, somebody got to spark her interest, or she’s gonna want somebody. I don’t know what kind of woman won’t, if you get to go and look at 53 men’s packages. And you’re just sitting here, saying ‘Oh, none of this is attractive to me.’ I know you’re doing a job, but at the same time, the same way I’m gonna cut my eye if I see somebody worth talking to, I’m sure they do the same thing.”
It’s not clear from Portis’s comments whether he’s advocating banning women from NFL locker rooms, but the NFL has maintained for decades that female reporters get the same access as male reporters. That’s not going to change.
But Portis’s comments are, if nothing else, a demonstration of how one NFL player views having women in his locker room. There are no doubt plenty of other NFL players who have similar feelings, even if they’re more constrained in their expression of those feelings than Portis.